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15 Life Lessons Learned From Primatologist Jane Goodall

15 Life Lessons Learned From Primatologist Jane Goodall

In the world of biology, Jane Goodall is one of the biggest rockstars, drawing huge crowds and attention everywhere she goes. Having dedicated her life to the study of chimpanzees and crusading to save our planet, Goodall’s work is full of passion and meaning. Here are a few lessons we can learn from her.

Make time to read

Though she often has little time to spare, Goodall always reads a few chapters of a book every night. She credits reading Tarzan and the Apes to putting her on her path to explore Africa. Reading was also responsible for one of her greatest opportunities: when she met Louis Leakey she impressed him with her vast knowledge of Africa-knowledge she had obtained solely from books.

Value your family

Goodall frequently travels with her family and cites her mother as one of her biggest inspirations. As a child growing up she was always exploring and asking questions. Instead of scolding her or trying to suppress her curiosity, her mother encouraged Goodall, something she says is the reason why she was able to be so successful.

Don’t let school get in the way of your education

Goodall went from secretary school straight to getting her doctorate degree. Leakey famously told her that she couldn’t waste the time getting an undergraduate degree; she had to go straight to the top of academics. That had to be intimidating for a young girl back then with no training other than as a secretary, with most of her knowledge being self taught. But under her supervisor’s guidance she excelled and went on to change the science world forever.

Treasure this earth

Goodall is a famous activist for wildlife preservation. She has seen firsthand what is being done to this earth and she uses her position to mitigate it. Goodall has written several books about our planet’s decline as well as ways that we can restore it. She even started a group Roots and Shoots, an international community action based program, to help teach children about what is going on and how they can help.

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    Leave a legacy

    Roots and Shoots is just a part of the greater Jane Goodall Institute. The JGI is a nonprofit founded by Jane Goodall that empowers others to make a difference in this world. The institute focuses on preservation, alleviating poverty, increasing education and sustainable living. Through the JGI and programs like Roots and Shoots, the legacy of Jane Goodall will live on and help to make the world a better place.

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      Practice compassion

      Goodall has seen her share of horrific practices and treatment of chimpanzees and other species. She dedicated her life to studying and helping these creatures but focused her charity only on animals. One day on a flight over Gombe National Park she saw the abject poverty the people there lived in. She realized then that until a person could feed their families they wouldn’t care about saving animals and that it was irrational to ask starving men to stop poaching when it was their only way of making money. She has since extended her charities to helping humanity and eradicating poverty.

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        Don’t just theorize, act

        Goodall is not just theory and talk, she is about action. Her institute is at the forefront of bringing the inhumane treatment of animals to the public’s attention. Her most recent crusade is urging aquariums around the world to phase out the practice of keeping beluga whales and dolphins in captivity.

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        Persistence pays off

        Goodall’s work in Tanzania was arduous and slow, getting familiar with chimpanzees to let her get close enough to observe them before collecting the data and defending her methodology. But eventually her persistence payed off and entire scientific volumes have been written about her discoveries. She even discovered that chimpanzees used modified tools — a trait beforehand only given to distinguish humans.

        There are many teachers in life

        Not all of Goodall’s learning was from books or academics. She gives credit to a dog named Rusty and the chimpanzees she worked with for teaching her compassion and that animals can have unique personalities too. Goodall gave her chimpanzees names and wrote their personalities down as scientific notes! She believes that science must become more empathetic or we will miss crucial elements of what we are studying.

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          Your comfort zone is just a suggestion

          The average chimpanzee is 3-5 times stronger than an average human. Picture a young Jane Goodall, no protection, no weapons, sitting just a few feet from foraging chimps — now that’s getting out of your comfort zone! She was in very real danger, enduring charges by the males, as well as the elements and diseases of Africa including Malaria and African sleeping sickness. Goodall proves that only by getting out of our comfort zone can we achieve greatness.

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            Age does not define you

            Jane Goodall is almost 81 years old yet she travels more than 300 days a year. She marches in protests, she speaks at schools and conferences, and she is personally involved in her institute all at an age well past retirement. Her strong sense of purpose and determination enables her to do things most never dream of at an age that most don’t think they’ll ever reach.

            You can get more done together

            Goodall is famous for saying that the best way to deal with your enemy is to make them your friend. She has met with heads of the logging industry, petroleum and even lab scientists to listen and exchange ideas and from those meetings real change has occurred. She has recently partnered with Google to bring views of Gombe National Park to every computer screen on earth in an effort to raise awareness of the plight of chimpanzees around the world. She also partners with several local groups in Africa and starts Roots and Shoots programs to get more people involved.

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              Technology can connect us and teach us

              Along with her partnership with Google, Goodall also uses online platforms like Twitter and YouTube to raise awareness and spread her message. The JGI releases animal videos that go viral; the more they are shared the more people cannot ignore their messages and the faster change happens.

              Sometimes luck plays a huge role

              While Goodall is an incredibly hard worker with legendary determination, luck did play a role in her career. Her mother encouraged her to go to secretary school. She was then chosen to be the secretary for Louis Leakey, a famous scientist and explorer. She impressed Leakey so much that he mentored her and encouraged her to get her PhD and continue her research. Without this chain of events, who knows what Goodall’s life would have led to?

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              Never give up hope

              The most important message Goodall gives is to never, never, never give up hope. Hope is the one thing that keeps her going, the main reason she founded the JGI. She has hope in mankind and in the future. She believes that the combined efforts of the human brain, the indomitable human spirit, the resiliency of nature and the determination of young people can and will bring this planet back and stop the extinction of species and the decimation of the wild

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                I had the honor of meeting Dr. Goodall when she came to speak at Georgia State University. What struck me at first was how frail she seemed, she is almost 81 after all. But from the moment she opened her mouth and gave out a loud female chimpanzee greeting call I knew she was a force to be reckoned with. Her life gives us many lessons about love, compassion, determination, change, and truly living. But the main message to take away is to never give up hope.

                Featured photo credit: Jane visits the World Bank via flickr.com

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                1 What Is Life About? 9 Ways to Find Your Meaning in Life 2 7 Things To Remember When You Feel Broken Inside 3 Focus On Yourself, Because Most Of The Time No One Really Cares 4 10 Principles for Success to Live Your Dream Life 5 10 Powerful Ways to Be More Confident

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                Last Updated on August 10, 2020

                10 Principles for Success to Live Your Dream Life

                10 Principles for Success to Live Your Dream Life

                Are you stressed out and overwhelmed, wishing you had more time to do the things that really matter? Are you ready to do something better, something special in your life or your career?

                If you’re ready to do what you want in life, then the 10 principles of success are what you need to follow.

                You were born with a gift that no one else in the world can express like you. When you dance to your own music, you naturally develop your innate abilities and excel in work and life. You are a total rock star. But when you live someone else’s idea of who you should be, it throws off your groove.

                Many people—maybe you—stopped following their dreams way too early in life because their talents were ignored, minimized, or shamed. They didn’t have the chops to win an American Idol competition or nab an Olympic gold medal, so they stopped expressing their inborn gifts altogether.

                You don’t need to be an award winner to rock your life. Living your dream life is about discovering your superpowers and feeling vibrant and joyful when you use them. It’s about owning what makes you unique and finding like-minded people to support you.

                Here are 10 success principles to help you live a rich and rewarding life on your terms that have worked with thousands of people in my workshops and will work for you, too.

                1. Get a Hobby to Move Closer to Your Dreams

                If you never became a professional dancer or a world-renowned author, it does NOT mean you should stop dancing or writing! These activities make you come alive, even if you “only” do them as favorite pastimes.

                Engaging in a hobby is one of the most important success principles you can follow to move closer to your dreams.

                When you try something creative for the first time or in a long while, you begin to see opportunities at work and in life that you were unaware of before. You also feel happier and more energized, according to a recent study from New Zealand.[1]

                Some of my most burned-out executive clients reinvigorated their careers by discovering a creative outlet that refueled them after the workday ended. Research at San Francisco State University shows that having a hobby lowers stress and helps you succeed at work.[2]

                So, give yourself permission to try new things and revisit old passions you gave up long ago. Setting aside just one hour a week for personal exploration can significantly change your life.

                Who knows? Your creative outlet could transform into a thriving business or lead to a new profession down the road.

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                2. Focus on Your Strengths, Not Your Weaknesses

                Did you know that you are more likely to succeed when you develop your natural strengths rather than work on your weaknesses? The problem is that you probably don’t know where your true talents lie.

                Here are a few options to help you discover your unique strengths. You can:

                • Take the VIA Character Strengths Survey[3]
                • Try Gallup’s CliftonStrengths Assessment[4]
                • Answer a few Superpower Questions

                Once you understand what makes you tick, you can use these skills at work and your personal life to get more done in less time. If you boost your unique abilities through practice and study, you can accelerate your career and become a leader in a field that matters to you. It’s worth investing in yourself this way.

                3. Jumping off a Cliff is NOT Required

                Here’s the deal: most people are too afraid to change. When participants first come to my workshops, they tell me they have mouths to feed, bills to pay, and fear that if they follow their dreams, someone will get hurt.

                The old saying “leap and the net shall appear” does not comfort them. Because they are hesitant to plunge into the unknown, they believe their only option is to stay put where they are in life. Can you relate?

                You do not have to sacrifice the life you have now to start a new one. I was a psychology professor by day and singer by night for years before I transitioned into a full-time music career.

                Just take a little time out each week to do what enlivens you through a hobby, volunteer work, etc. Get a feel for it.

                Is it what you really want? If so, increase the time you spend doing it and make the transition when the time feels right.

                4. Give Your Inner Critic Some Love

                The main culprit that keeps you from stepping outside your comfort zone and getting the life of your dreams is KCRP or K-CRAP – the radio station that plays 24/7 in your head. The moment you try to do something interesting with your life it slaps you down with such chart-topping killer hooks as “Who do you think you are?” and “You’ll never be good enough!”.

                Have you ever noticed that KCRP’s mean-spirited DJ sounds like your parents, teachers, bosses, and other authority figures who shut you down creatively? These folks don’t need to stifle you any longer (although they often still do) because your inner critic does it for them. That keeps you stuck in a rut.

                To break free, try thinking of this DJ as a gruff old grandfather who gives you crap to keep you safe. Remember, this grumpy grandpa is woefully out of touch with the times. So, his stern opinions don’t really matter much, do they? Give him a pat on the back for his good intentions, and put your focus back on what makes you come alive.

                This success principle will give you the courage to venture into the unknown where you can dance to the beat of your own drummer.

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                5. Embrace Your Inner Self

                Many of us don’t go after our dreams because we’re afraid folks will find out how odd or strange we are. But our little eccentricities often turn out to be our greatest strengths. Yes, it’s good to be quirky.

                Odds are, you lost track of your true passions and talents before you were even old enough to know you were getting off-track. You became slowly “adulterated” by learning to:

                • Take on family roles that don’t match who you really are.
                • Spit back what teachers taught you in school rather than risk getting bad grades for being original.
                • Hide parts of yourself that don’t seem acceptable to certain social groups.

                The price for fitting in is that you may wind up leading a life that doesn’t fit you all that well. Your true calling becomes clear when you embrace what makes you different from others and allow yourself to stand out from the crowd, even if it feels awkward. Often, the very qualities you view as your flaws are your greatest gifts.

                Here’s How to Listen to Your Inner Voice for Greater Fulfillment.

                6. See the Bigger Picture to Find Your True Calling

                I cannot stress the importance of this success principle enough. Your true calling is right in front of you. But you may miss it because you’re looking for it in the wrong place.

                To “see” it clearly, try widening your point of view.

                Case in point: Maria felt she needed to retire early from being a police detective, so she could travel abroad. I encouraged Maria to think of ways that she could continue to serve as a law enforcer (a career she loved) and travel overseas at the same time.

                A few months later, Maria landed a job with the United Nations in Bosnia training the local police force to understand and embrace human rights procedures.

                Like Maria, you are an everyday rock star capable of accomplishing greater things than you can imagine. Is what you’re looking for right in front of you, too? Do you have an inkling of what it may be?

                Look beyond your day-to-day activities, your current job, and even the town you live in. View your life from an eagle’s perspective and be open to new possibilities.

                7. Try a Little Wish-List Magic

                Pretend I’m your fairy godmother and I give you permission right now to be your most magnificent self. What kind of life would be music to your ears? It doesn’t matter whether it seems unattainable or even downright crazy. Write it down on a wish list.

                Get quiet. Be honest. Think big.

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                What would you like your career, your relationships, your health, your finances, and your spiritual life to be like? Jot down enough details so that your wishes seem tangible to you. Then, look at this list every morning before you start your day and every night before you go to sleep.

                Sounds silly? It’s not. It works! Permitting yourself to daydream about a rich and fulfilling life is the first step to manifesting it.

                8. Take Breaks to Get Clues About Your Ideal Future

                Did you know that working straight through to a deadline leads to diminishing returns? Research shows that taking a break for 15 minutes every 75 to 90 minutes can help you recharge, refresh your focus, and get more done in less time.[5]

                Wait, it gets better! A Stanford study shows that walking increases your creative output increases by 60 percent. Doing repetitive activities such as walking, running, riding your bike, swimming, and sweeping allow solutions to problems to pop into your mind out of nowhere.[6]

                What does this success principle have to do with creating your dream life?

                These mini-breaks allow you to get vital clues for what to do next to attain your ideal future. Plus, you won’t waste precious time and energy getting lost in other people’s agendas.

                9. Take Action on Your Inspired Ideas

                Once an inspired thought pops into your mind, take action.

                This is one of the most powerful success principles for turning your dreams into reality; the sooner the better. Whatever it is—from calling an old friend to taking a new route home—be sure to do it!

                Pay attention to your oddball hunches. You need to go after what you want, not just dream about it. As comedian Jim Carrey warns,

                “You can’t just visualize and go eat a sandwich.”

                10. Count Your Rockstar Moments

                Still not sure you have what it takes to get your dream life? This final success principle is guaranteed to help.

                Make a list of everything you’ve ever accomplished. As you read back through it, put a star next to each item, and let it sink in.

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                You’ll be pleasantly surprised by how good you’ll feel about yourself afterward. You’ll also see how effective you’ve been in the past at getting what you want. You’ve succeeded before, you can succeed again.

                You already rock. You just need to own it. Trust me, you’ve got this!

                Final Thoughts

                Eleanor Roosevelt said,

                “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”

                Following these success principles will help you find the time and energy to do the things that really matter and live with clear intention.

                By spending just one hour a week doing something you love, focusing on your strengths and achievements, embracing what makes you different, and acting on inspired ideas, you can create a life that is a perfect fit for you, step-by-step.

                If you don’t have a clue about what your dream life could look like yet, don’t worry. Your heart knows. It has been “talking” to you for a long time. It’s just being muffled by KCRP, buried under a lot of “shoulds” and fear.

                This article can also help you figure out the life you truly want to live: How to Get Motivated and Be Happy Every Day When You Wake Up.

                Stand still, get quiet, and listen. It’s constantly telling you what you need to do to realize your own rockstar potential. It may be just a whisper now, but the more you pay attention to it, the louder it will get, and the easier it will be to follow.

                More About Success in Life

                Featured photo credit: Rahul Dey via unsplash.com

                Reference

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